Will Raw Milk Become a Constitutional Right in Virginia?

When the Virginia General Assembly convenes on January 14, 2015, it will consider a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to buy homegrown food at the farms that produce it. The amendment states, “The people shall have the right to acquire for their own consumption farm-produced food directly at the farm with agreement from the farmer who produced it.”

“Right now, you have the right to purchase food of your choice – but regulations prevent the right (of farmers) to sell them. This amendment gives consumers standing in court,” explains Lois Smith, president of the Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association.

This constitutional amendment is expected to garner support from several co-signers and a Senate sponsor. If it is approved, Virginia would be the first state to pass such an amendment.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook.

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Raw Milk Might Not Have Been Cause of Durand Football Team Falling Sick

In September 2014, dozens of players of the Durand, WI football team fell sick following a team dinner. Health officials concluded the outbreak was due to the consumption of unpasteurized milk. Now, however, there’s reason to believe that the milk might not have been the cause of the illness afterall.

“Some people got sick who didn’t drink the milk,” says Diana Reed, whose farm supplied the milk.


According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, a total of 38 people fell ill following the team dinner and 26 of those illnesses stemmed from the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni. This same strain of bacteria was found in some of the manure of the cows at Reed’s farm.

However, Reed points out that Campylobacter is commonly found in all cows in Wisconsin and no Campylobacter was found in the farm’s bulk tank, which was tested 6 days after the outbreak.


Furthermore, this particular strain of Campylobacter is also found in chicken, which was also served at the team dinner. At the dinner, 56 people ate chicken and 38 got sick; 43 people drank the milk and 33 got sick. This leaves 5 people who did not drink the milk but still had Campylobacter.

“We’ve had four boys in football in Durand through the last eight years. I’ve lived and breathed Durand football. This was the last thing I would ever want to be involved in – making a football team sick,” says Reed.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Hershberger’s Appeal

In December 2014, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected Vernon Hershberger’s appeal over his 2013 conviction for violating a holding order on the sales of raw milk from his farm.Hershberger had been cleared of all other charges in the case. His attorney’s were appealing the final charge to clear his name.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals also denied hearing the case this summer. The Supreme Justices did not provide a reason for why they denied the appeal.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook.

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2014 Was a Lucrative Year for US Dairy Farmers

High dairy commodity prices combined with low feed costs yielded high profit margins for dairy farmers across the US during 2014. This “perfect storm,” as one Wisconsin dairy producer referred to it, was welcomed by an industry that has experienced some tight years recently.


Low dairy production in other major milk-producing regions around the world drove up demand for US-produced dairy products – contributing, in part, to the high prices of raw milk, cheese and butter.


According to the U.S Dairy Export Council (USDEC), US dairy exports increased 14% during the first half of 2014 vs. the same period in 2013, setting a record averaging $653.6 million per month.


This strong performance has allowed many dairy producers to reinvest in their operations, something they weren’t able to do following the 2009 recession, which will hopefully keep the milk business booming.


The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook.

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Coca-Cola Introducing Super Processed “Milk” Product Dubbed “Coke Milk”

On his blog The Complete Patient, David Gumpert asks, “Can Super Processed Coke Milk Become the New Real Milk?” If the global rise of Coca-Cola is any indication, the scary answer to this question is perhaps yes.

According to Gumpert, Coca-Cola is seeking to balance out deteriorating sales in an increasingly health-conscious marketplace with a new product that capitalizes on trendy almond milk, soy milk, and low-fat “all natural” protein powders. Their new product is called Fairlife and it is a super processed milk product that has been processed beyond pasteurization and homogenization while adding more protein and removing sugars and fat. It will be sold for twice the price of typical processed milk, perhaps in an effort to target those who are willing to pay premium prices for what they believe is “health food.”

Fairlife is currently being tested in select markets in the Midwest and is expected to go nationwide in 2015. One store manager in Minnesota, where Fairlife has supposedly been tough to keep in stock, points out that buyers have no way of knowing that the product is made by Coca-Cola as there is no indication on the packaging.

Gumpert writes that the success of Fairlife remains to be seen: “Coke can throw a huge amount of ad dollars at the new stuff. Or maybe [it won’t be successful] when people discover not only how unnatural it is, but that it is produced by a company with a long history of producing products that keep people unhealthy.”

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook. 

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An Abridged History of Mass Milk Production

Raw milk advocates know that stainless steel tanks and refrigerated trucks have reduced the need for pasteurization that originally came about due to dirty production methods and infected water supplies in the 1920s. However, many still argue that pasteurization is necessary to protect public health, even though pasteurized milk is less nutritious and harder to digest.

How did consumers feel about pasteurized milk when it first became available? Who were the influential politicians who argued for pasteurization? How did pasteurization give rise to the dairy giants that still exist today?

These questions and others are examined in a “Murky History of Mass Milk Production Pours Over to Today: Raw Milk Revolution?” on the Epoch Times.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook. 

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Cheese of Choice Coalition Fighting to Protect Raw Milk Cheese Again

In 2010, Oldways Preservation and Trust joined forces with the American Cheese Society, the Cheese Importers Association of America and Whole Foods to create the Cheese of Choice Coalition in order to fight against the FDA as it considered changing the 60-day aging rule for raw milk cheese.

In August, the FDA began to again reexamine cheese guidelines, including the aging of cheese on wooden boards and allowances for nontoxigenic E. coli that have barred the import of Roquefort, Morbier, Tomme de Savoie and St. Nectaire until producers can meet the new, stricter standard.

In response, the Cheese of Choice Coalition has come together again to launch a website that aims to be a comprehensive, educational resource about cheese, including information on regulations and a cheese database for retailers and consumers.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook. 

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Australian Reporter Details Experience Drinking Camel Milk for One Month

PJ Madam, a reporter for Australian news program Sunday Night, drank unpasteurized camel milk for one month and detailed her experience on Yahoo!: “This is a story about camels, their milk, and my bowel moments” she starts.

PJ writes that although she has repeatedly tested negative to allergies, she has experienced “…cramps, sharp pain, bloating followed by bathroom dramas” for the past 10 years.

“It’s humiliating and frustrating,” she writes, and it was enough to convince her to see if camel milk could help alleviate her symptoms. The sale of raw milk is illegal in Australia but she was able to find the country’s only dairy farmer from whom she bought bottles plastered with ‘not fit for human consumption’ labels, making it her choice whether to drink it or not.

After personally seeing how clean the farm is and speaking with the farmer about how he tests his milk for dangerous bacteria every day, she decided to experiment with drinking one glass of raw camel milk for breakfast every day for one month. She writes: “After a month, my stomach symptoms didn’t stop entirely, but they weren’t as severe. Very little cramping, and the bloating disappeared.” Plus, she almost instantly saw a flat stomach: “It was as if I’d been secretly doing up to 300 sit-ups a day and overnight I’d gained a washboard effect.”

Her personal experience seems to fit with the experiences of those she interviewed prior to her experiment, all of whom shared stories of the health benefits of camel milk to treat their Common Variable Immune Deficiency or children’s asthma or autism.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook.

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Could Dairy Farms Aid in Prison Reform?

An article on Huffington Post posits that dairy farms could replace prisons as sources of employment in rural areas around the United States.

In New York, for example, 90% of state prisons are located in rural areas. “No one who can help it wants a prison in their backyard. Yet in economically depressed areas, the jobs they promise are the difference between unemployment and a paycheck, pension, and health insurance,” the author points out.

Activist Lauren Melodia sees agriculture as an alternative to prisons. In 2010, she founded Milk Not Jails, an organization that aims to both revitalize rural economies and end an economic dependence on prisons. Though it seems like a lofty goal, the dairy industry might have the potential to achieve it – a 2014 report by Cornell professor Todd Schmit shows that for every dollar made from agricultural products in the state, another $0.43 is generated in additional economic activity.

The key to this is removing the biggest obstacle facing dairy farmers today: a federal pricing structure that prevents farmers from getting paid what they need to stay in business.

According to the author, “Legalizing the sale of raw milk would be one simple way to make that happen. Because dairy farmers don’t need to pasteurize raw milk, they would be able to sell it without expensive processing fees.”

Read more of the author’s proposed solutions as well as the challenges of this issue on the Huffington Post.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook.

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WSJ Video: Raw Milk Vending Machines Gain Following in Europe

A Wall Street Journal video explores how vending machines that dispense raw milk have gained a following in the UK and other European countries, but critics question whether the machines keep the milk at cool enough temperatures.

One dairy farmer who sells 30 gallons of raw milk per day stands by the integrity of the vending machines. He believes that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) should make responsible regulations about raw milk but points out that raw milk is “…safer than an awful lot of other foods that we eat.”

In England, raw milk vending machines are allowed only on farms, which many producers say defeat the purpose of such machines – which is to make raw milk more accessible to those not living in rural areas. In Ireland, raw milk vending machines have been banned by the Food Standards Agency; in Scotland, the sale of raw milk is banned altogether.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Fan the Campaign for Real Milk on Facebook. 

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